Pralines and Cream Ice Cream

Homemade Pralines and Cream Ice Cream features freshly candied pecans in a creamy vanilla ice cream base with swirls of gooey caramel.

This churned ice cream is Philadelphia style, which means that it’s made by churning cream, milk, and sugar into a sweet, creamy treat.

Our pralines and cream ice cream recipe is egg-free, gluten-free, and easy to make when you follow this simple recipe.

a footed glass dish filled with scoops of pralines and cream ice cream with praline candies scattered around.

Crunchy nuts are a classic ice cream add-in and are amazing in recipes like Black Walnut Ice Cream and Toasted Almond Ice Cream.

This nutty ice cream takes things to a whole new level, by candying pecans first and turning them into sweet, buttery pralines.

Be sure to try our recipe for Butterscotch Ice Cream next if you’re a fan of rich, buttery flavors in your desserts.

Why You’re Going to Love this Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Recipe

Philadelphia Style recipe means that this recipe doesn’t require you to cook egg yolks to create the ice cream base, so it’s easier and faster to make, and also egg free.

Homemade Pralines – If you’ve never made pralines from scratch before, today is the day! The truth is that candied pecans are very simple to make with just a handful of ingredients like butter, cream, and brown sugar.

Fresh, All-Natural Ingredients – This is why I love making ice cream from scratch – I can control everything that goes into it! No preservatives or chemicals are in this homemade ice cream recipe.

Step By Step Recipe – As always, this recipe includes step-by-step instructions for making the ice cream base, churning the ice cream, and properly storing homemade ice cream. You’ll be an ice cream making pro in no time!

The ingredients for making pralines from scratch and homemade praline ice cream, all in separate bowls on a marble counter, viewed from above

Ingredients in Homemade Pralines and Cream Ice Cream

For the Pralines:

Pecans– Pecan halves work best for making great pralines, but you can also use pecan pieces in this recipe. You’ll end up with larger pieces of nuts if you use pecan halves.

Granulated Sugar – Some recipes for pralines call for just brown sugar, but I enjoy the flavor and texture that comes from using both types.

Brown Sugar – the rich flavor of brown sugar adds something special to your homemade pralines.

Heavy Cream – Cream turns a simple caramel sauce into a creamy candy that sticks to the pecans and gives them the best texture.

Butter – Unsalted butter and sugars create a rich caramel for praline ice cream.

For the Ice Cream:

Heavy Cream – You’ll need cream for both parts of this recipe, 2 1/4 cups in total. Heavy cream is what makes our ice cream base rich and creamy!

Whole Milk – A mix of both heavy cream and whole milk creates the perfect ice cream texture.

Granulated Sugar – Any great ice cream will have a good amount of sugar in it, both for sweetness and texture. 

Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract is in just about all of our homemade ice cream recipes. It elevates the simple flavors of sugar and cream.

Kosher Salt – A bit of salt balances out the sweetness from the sugar.

Caramel Sauce – Jarred or bottled caramel sauce makes a sweet swirl for pralines and cream ice cream. Try salted caramel sauce if you’re a big fan of the sweet/salty flavor combination.

A collage of 8 images showing how to make pralines and cream ice cream from scratch

How to Make Pralines and Cream Ice Cream from Scratch

Start the day before by making sure that the bowl for your ice cream maker has at least 24 hours to freeze solid.

You’ll make homemade candied pecans first. Let them cool while you prepare the ice cream base.

  1. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the pecans and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the syrup thickens and coats the pecans. 
  3. Pour the pralines out onto a baking sheet and spread with a spatula. Let cool completely before breaking into small pieces. Reserve for later.
  4. To make the ice cream base, combine heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has fully dissolved into the mixture.
  5. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  6. In the last two minutes of the churn, add all but 2 tablespoons of the pralines, reserving those for later. Churn until even distributed.
  7. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Top with the caramel sauce and gently swirl it in with a spatula. Spinkle the top with the reserved pralines.
  8. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Before serving, let the ice cream sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes to make it easy to scoop.

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.

A glass dish of homemade pecan pralines and cream ice cream being scooped by a metal ice cream scoop.

How to Store Pralines and Cream Ice Cream

Store this homemade Pralines and Cream ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (we love these reusable ice cream tubs) with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top.

Homemade ice cream will stay fresh for up to one month. if stored correctly.

Tips for Making This Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Recipe

Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome.

Take a shortcut – Store bought pralines can be used in place of the homemade ones here.

Instead of caramel sauce, try butterscotch or dulce de leche instead. You can also use a homemade caramel if you prefer than over a store-bought version.

Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes. If your ice cream base isn’t super cold after mixing it, place it in the freezer for an hour or so before adding it to the machine.

Don’t skimp on the fat – High-fat milk and cream are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.

Don’t go crazy with the add-ins – If you’re adding in additional ingredients, pick one or two and make sure they are chopped into pieces no larger than a blueberry or pea.

Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture of ice cream.

Can I make Pralines and Cream Ice Cream with a Custard Base?

You definitely can swap out the egg-free vanilla base of this recipe with my French Vanilla Bean ice cream instead.

The recipe will end up a bit more complicated, but the result will be so decadent and creamy!

scoops of creamy pralines and cream ice cream in a glass ice cream dish.

No Churn Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Directions

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Add-Ins

Want a little bit of extra deliciousness in your homemade praline ice cream?

Try using different types of nuts, or a mixture of them instead of just pecans.

Fudge, butterscotch sauce or dulce de leche can be used in place of the caramel sauce.

Any sweet add-ins you like, such as crushed cookies, or chopped candy bars can be delicious with praline ice cream! Get creative and let us know how your gourmet ice cream flavor worked.

Why Do I Need to Let Homemade Ice Cream Soften Before Scooping?

Commercially made ice creams contain preservatives that allow them to be softer when frozen. Since our homemade ice cream doesn’t include any unnatural ingredients, it will freeze almost solid. Just a few minutes at room temperature will make it soft enough to scoop. Try to be patient!

a footed dish of scooped homemade praline ice cream. Text at bottom of image says "Pralines and Cream ice cream"

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Try more of our no-cooking-required Philadelphia style ice cream recipes:

Our Favorite Ice Cream Making Tools:

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Did you make this Homemade Pralines and Cream Ice Cream Recipe? Leave a Comment Below letting us know what you thought and if you added any additional add-ins.

a footed glass dish filled with scoops of pralines and cream ice cream with praline candies scattered around.

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chilling/Freezing Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Homemade Pralines and Cream Ice Cream features freshly candied pecans in a creamy vanilla ice cream base with swirls of gooey caramel.

Ingredients

For the Pralines:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pecans

For the Ice Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl.
  2. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  3. Bring to a boil and let cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the pecans and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until the syrup thickens and coats the pecans. 
  4. Pour out onto a baking sheet and spread with a spatula. Let cool completely before breaking into small pieces. Reserve for later. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the mixture. You should not feel any grit if you rub the mixture together between two fingers. 
  6. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  7. In the last two minutes of the churn, add all but 2 tablespoons of the pralines, reserving those for later. Churn until evenly distributed. 
  8. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Top with the caramel sauce and swirl with a spatula. Sprinkle with reserved pralines. 
  9. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Notes

  • Your ice cream base and ice cream bowl both need to be very cold in order for it to churn. If your base is not cold, place it in the freezer for an hour or so until it is chilled. 
  • It is important that the granulated sugar dissolves into the milk. This creates a smoother consistency in your final ice cream. 
  • It’s very important that your mixture is really cold before going into the ice cream machine to churn. If you find that it is not cold enough, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before churning. If it’s not cold enough, it will not get thick.
  • If you do not want to make your own pralines, you can use store-bought pralines. 
  • I used store-bought caramel sauce for this recipe, but you can use homemade instead. Salted caramel, butterscotch or dulce de leche would also be good alternatives in this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 750Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 235mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 2gSugar: 70gProtein: 6g

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2 Comments

  1. I made this today because I don’t like whole pecans (or other nuts) in my ice cream. This was delicious and my husband said he liked it more than Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream which, if you knew him, would be saying a lot (his groom’s cake was choc. chip cookie dough). The only change I would make would be adding a caramel swirl in the whole container, or doing layers so there’s more caramel in with the ice cream. This honestly was delicious without it, my hubby and I just like really strong flavors, as we eat a lot of spicy food. 😊

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